Big response to Rolle College consultation

Crwods gathered to view the Rolle proposal plans at the Ocean suite on Saturday. Ref exe 2692-41-15

Crwods gathered to view the Rolle proposal plans at the Ocean suite on Saturday. Ref exe 2692-41-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of Exmouth residents have turned out to have their say about the future of the Rolle College site.

A two-day event held by the site’s owners, Plymouth University, at the seafront Ocean complex was attended by around 500 people.

They were asked for their views on two proposals, both of which would see most of the site used for housing.

In scheme one, just the Owen Building would be allocated for the community, while in scheme two an extra building would also be assigned for community or ‘commercial’ use.

Plymouth University said around 500 people attended during the two days, including neighbours of the site, former students and teachers, and interested parties from within Exmouth and across the South West.

The university said their comments, and those being received online and through the post, would now be examined as it worked towards the submission of a planning application.

Trevor Wills, the university’s director of estates and capital projects, said: “The public response at the consultation has further emphasised this site’s importance to the local community and its regeneration.

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“It was very interesting to meet so many people with past connections to the site, and constructive views on how it might be developed in the future.

“Their comments, and those still to come from the online survey, will now be assessed as we move towards an outline planning submission.”

The online consultation will run until Sunday, October 11, and can be accessed at

Community benefit society Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL), which hopes to secure as much of the site as possible for the community, is urging people who could not make it to the consultation at Ocean to go online, and ensure they do not miss the opportunity to have their say and help shape the future of the site.

REL chairman Deborah Hallett said: “We’ve been delighted with the response so far.

“Hundreds of people have already had their say on what they think should happen with the site, but it’s really important that others don’t miss out.

“There is incredible potential to boost business, education and community opportunities in the area, if we can develop this wonderful facility in the right way.

“We firmly believe there needs to be the right balance between housing and the business, education and community aspects of the site, offering fantastic long-term benefits to Exmouth and East Devon.

“We will be striving to work with Plymouth University, potential developers and the local community to achieve that.”